Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Narrowboat Wife arrives in the 21st Century

For the first few days in the house I walked from room to room, appreciating the space. The girls ran from room to room – up and down the stairs, in and out of the back door, shrieking and giggling. I opened all the cupboard doors in the kitchen, amazed at the amount of storage space. For the first time in my life I ordered groceries online to be delivered to our address. When the van driver arrived with a week’s worth of shopping it felt like Christmas had come all at once!

We have unlimited electric and water. For a few days I was unsettled, suspecting there was something I’d forgotten to do. Then I realised: I’d not run the engine! This was a daily essential on the boat, to recharge the domestic batteries. We’ve also enjoyed powerful showers, and hot baths. The girls particularly like their new bunk beds. They've also said they like having a bubble bath and going to the beach.

I’ve discovered microwave cooking and I really appreciate how easy and convenient it is. We don’t even have a washing machine or freezer yet so there are still many aspects of modern life we have yet to try out. As a boater I was always proud of how little we needed to be comfortable, we don’t need as much as we think we do in society today. But I am now beginning to admit that mod cons do make life easier, especially when you’re a mum! In the future, when I have begun to take all this for granted, I hope that I can look back on this time and appreciate that we live in luxury!


I feel a little bit embarrassed when I don’t exactly know how things work. The central heating and the boiler are still a mystery to me. The gas company wanted to explain energy efficiency to me on the phone. All of the light bulbs in the house are low energy ones. When I last lived ashore (13 years ago) I think light bulbs were the old fashioned sort as far as I remember. Houses are different now. Everyone has WiFi internet streaming movies and music, a gazillion TV channels and a TV that can pause and rewind. (We don't have all that yet!)

The girls have been watching the movie Annie on our new DVD player. Annie is taken from her orphanage home to spend a week with a billionaire at his mansion. Perhaps that's why I have this annoyingly quirky tune in my head, "I think I'm gonna like it here." 



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